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The three Americas of the Chinese imagination

Will China’s admiration of the US triumph over its antagonism?

By Yu Hua   December 2013

Three different pictures of America have dominated the Chinese imagination over the past 40 years. First there was the Mao-era view of the United States as a weak nation with imperialist pretensions. Later, during the Deng Xiaoping-era, came the image of the US as a democratic model to be emulated.

The third view of America emerged at the end of the 20th century and still prevails. The contradictions within this view have a significant…

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